2013 ESSENTIAL TOPS SEW-A-LONG FINISHED PROJECTS

October 31, 2012

CARNIVAL OF SKIRTS SEW-A-LONG UPDATE...


CARNIVAL OF SKIRTS 2012
SEW-A-LONG
 ANNOUNCEMENT:  It Ain't Over Til It's Over...



As you know, initially, the Carnival of Skirts Sew-A-Long was scheduled to end tonight, October 31st.  However, because we all have such a good time creating new skirts - the end date has been extended.  UNTIL WHEN???  Well, it ain't over til it's over.  Sew at your own pace and post when you have completed.  

If my count is correct, 29 skirts have been submitted this far.  If you'd still like to participate just post or continue to post pictures of your completed projects and they will be added to our slide show.

I just think that it was wonderful that you thought this challenge worthy of your time and effort.  We've seen some creative work displayed - and hope to see more.  I've had a load of fun with this, and have learned some things from youThank you so much for sharing...

October 28, 2012

CARNIVAL OF SKIRTS 2012 SEW-A-LONG UPDATE...

CARNIVAL OF SKIRTS 2012 SEW-A-LONG
ENDS ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31ST

HOWEVER
 DON'T WORRY OR FRET IF YOU HAVEN'T STARTED OR FINISHED YET!!!

I will continue to monitor the blog and will keep it open for as long as it takes you to finish your skirts and post.  The purpose of the sew-a-long is to MOTIVATE people to sew, not to add additional stress to your lives.

Let me take the time to THANK you all for participating and making the sew-a-long an informative and fun event.  I set it up, but it would be nothing without your  participation.  

SO SEW ON TO YOUR HEARTS CONTENT!
Who knows I might even do up another skirt or two myself.  After all there are still several hanging around on my inspiration board...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY SKIRT...A REAL LABOR OF LOVE

....have you EVER seen a sewist make such a ruckus over a skirt???  It's so rare that I find sewing inspiration that really IGNITES passion, but when I do,it becomes a real OBSESSION.  I get sooooo excited when it happens and I immediately set out to make it happen.  And not just that, I show it to EVERYONE, talk about it endlessly (to the point where it probably makes them nauseous), and even offer to make one for them too.  I know crazy - right!

After one failed attempt (posted here) I attacked the project again early Saturday morning.  I started all over from scratch.  I had to re-draft the front of the pattern and cut it up for color blocking.  I picked the first skirt apart in an effort to salvage as much of the original fabric as possible.  I salvaged the entire back of the skirt, and one big block of gray from the front.  I re-cut the back to a smaller size (zipper had already been installed).  After a full day's labor of love my skirt is finished, and I am so happy with it.  Here are some pictures of my process.

 Here is an un-adorned picture of my second Carnival of Skirts Sew-a-long project.  I've ordered a red twinset and black booties to complete the inspiration look so I will be taking more pictures wearing it later.


It's been a fun skirt ride for me since September 5th, and although I've got more than enough skirts there are still 3 or 4 left on my inspiration board that I'd like to attack.  You just might see me working on one of them before too long.  I've completed my 2 skirt quota for the Sew-a-Long but now this dress calling my name.

It's a pattern I used a long time ago but I still so love my dress.  I'll be making some alterations to the pattern this time to close up the neckline just a little bit.  This time I'll be making it in black...



October 26, 2012

CARNIVAL OF SKIRTS SEW-A-LONG COUNT DOWN...

ONLY SIX MORE DAYS LEFT
SEW-A-LONG ENDS WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 31ST
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 ...I so wanted to get a post written up this week - but wanted to have my first Carnival of Skirts Sewalong projected completed before I did.  I just couldn't make it happen.  First of all, remember my "ADDICTED TO LOVE SKIRT" (so named by MARY).


 Well I'm sorry to report that after making a (what I thought) workable muslin of the front of the skirt I decided to cut my fashion fabrics - 3 pieces of different colors to be exact -  but the skirt just did not work out.  Guess I was rushing the process.  My self-drafted result was a skirt that was WAY TO LARGE.  Uggggg!!!  Taking it in distorted my color blocking something terrible, and to say the least really upset me.  So, I decided to put that thing aside and come back to it on yet another day when my mind and body were well rested.  Oh yes, it will be made - I'll work on it again this weekend.  Hopefully I'll be able to salvage some of the fabric from the failed attempt.

Not to waste too much time lamenting over a wadder I really needed to keep it moving and get a skirt completed for the Carnival Sew-a-long.  So up into the stash I went and found a 4 1/2 yard plaid woolen piece that I thought I could live with.   The fabric had a WalMart tag on it and I know it's been stashed for at least 4 years.   Of course I used my lovely TNT McCall's 3830 - can't tell you how many times I've used this pattern - it works so well for me.  A plain and simple go-to pencil skirt.

McCall's 3830
Without a doubt I think this is one of the most used skirt patterns in the entire sewing world.  Four pieces, to which I add my usual kick pleat vent in the back seam.

Now to choose fabric and a pattern for my second sew-a-long project...

October 20, 2012

THIS ONE IS A SKIRT POST...

...No kidding!  THIS ONE LEFT ME SPEECHLESS...



You do know this is going to happen - right?   I'm just saying...

A NON-SKIRT BLOG POST...

...I've been talking about updating my sewing space for a long time - especially the part about caroling all my sewing material in one central location.  My main objective is having a place for everything; and keeping everything in it's place.  This would be a primary goal  for any sewitst - right???  The room is small so I need to use every available inch of space effectively.

Since the door to my sewing room is ALWAYS open, using the back of it for storage seemed like a great idea.  I know  its not an original idea - I probably saw something similar on Pintrest or some other place.  Lot's of people probably use peg board in their sewing areas.  I really actually needed an effective way of storing long rulers and some other stuff.

Well, that's it for this post, got to get another Carnival Skirt made up...




October 18, 2012

CARNIVAL OF SKIRTS UPDATE....

...You may already know that I am experiencing slight problems getting some of the Carnival of Skirts participants signed in.  While I'd love to blame it ALL on Blogger, I have to be honest and say that some of it is my fault.  When Blogger changed it's interface (listen to me sounding like I understand computer jargon),  the process of creating a new blog and adding multiple authors also changed.  The old way was much simpler when blogger offered a feature that allowed you to double check each new addition. 

My part of the problem is that I sometimes make typographical errors.  I often enter participant email address in groups.  With the new interface, if one email address contains an error, none of the group invitations go out at all - different from the old interface.  Additionally, some of the addresses were au or ca rather than dot com. You'd think that I'd know by know that everybody in the world is not a DOT COM!

If you have not yet received your invitation, please accept my apology!!!  I am truly trying to work things out so we can get on with this sew-a-long.

That being said, these are the participants that I just re-sent invitations to.  Please double check me on your email addresses:
  •  Alethia     lovetosew at live dot com
  •  Tanya      mun3 at yahoo dot com
  •  Lynn        mylynnstudios at gmail dot com
  • Andrea     yarngirl67 at gmail dot com
  • Towanda  samtowanda at msn dot com
  • Marjie      marjiemcdonald at gmail dot com
  • Ingrid       ilensink at iweb dot com dot au
  • Kelly       onthed113 at aol dot com
I also added two new requests:
  • Lynneb    Lbrundage at roadrunner dot com
  • Inglesidebelle  nonnobi56 at gmail dot com
  • Rhonda    sewbussted at yahoo dot com (or is it Sewbussted at yahoo dot com)
Lastly, if I've omitted ANYONE (I'm sorry - it was an oversight), please let me know!!!

October 17, 2012

CARNIVAL OF SKIRTS SEW-A-LONG...



CARNIVAL OF SKIRTS - 2012
2 - WEEKS
2 - SKIRTS
2 - WAYS
October 17th to October 31st

 ..... officially begins today.  There are still 10 people who have not responded to their email invitations.  A new Carnival of Skirts blog has been set up and participants have already started posting there.  Please check in as soon as you can to show us your pattern choices and maybe fabrics, and tell us about your plans.  If for some reason you haven't gotten your email invitation please notify me by commenting on this post.

Even if you are not participating - stop by and check it out.  We are all excited about this two week sew-a-long!

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Now a word about my pattern picks:
For some reason I think I need a classic black ponteroma knit skirt. Every girl needs a great go to black skirt, and even though I already have two - they are both wool.  It's just still a wee bit warm here for 100% wool skirts right now.  So I'm going with Pamela's Magic Pencil Skirt again.  I've made it twice already.  The first was a big success, but the second one wasn't (due to an incorrect fabric choice).  If it works out this time I'll classify the pattern as a real TNT..  Who doesn't love a great TNT, right?


October 14, 2012

WHAT'S A CARNIVAL WITHOUT LOTS OF VARIETY....

...
  1. ...because several people have asked me about a "SKIRT SEW-A-LONG" as related to the Skirt Carnival; and
  2. ...because I am embarrassed that I did not think of making it a sew-a-long from the very start; and
  3. ...because I just can't seem to shut this skirt thing off anyway, and
  4. ...the more the merrier!  Variety would make it a more interesting parade.  Don't you think???
PLEASE ACCEPT MY INVITATION TO THE GREAT
CARNIVAL OF SKIRTS SEW-A-LONG

CRITERIA:
  1. Mention your interest in participating in the sew-a-long by commenting on this post by WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17TH
  2. Please, please  INCLUDE your EMAIL ADDRESS here on this post with your COMMENT.  (you can use something like (dollyappleseedatgmaildotcom for example); afterwards,
  3. Be on the LOOKOUT for an EMAIL INVITATION in your inbox.
  4. RESPOND to the email invitation.  This will give you permission to post
  • pattern information
  • fabric choices
  • helpful information, tutorials, etc.
  • ask for opinions, suggestions, advice
  • post pictures of progress and your finished project
on the new  CARNIVAL OF SKIRTS 2012 blog.

SEW-A-LONG RULES (if I may):
  • 2 Weeks
  • 2 Skirts
  • 2 Ways (styles)
TNT, Self Drafted, or New Pattern, the choice is yours!  Of course you can make as many skirts as you like - there is no limit.

TIME FRAME:  Wednesday, October 17th to October 31st.

I'd like to do an official badge for the sew-a-long, can anybody help me???  I don't know how to create a badge...



October 13, 2012

I HAVE THREE (3) SKIRT CARNIVAL CONFESSIONS...

...wondering what they are???
  1. I know you won't believe me, but I am really trying to turn this thing off!
  2. BUT, I'm still having so much fun with it.  There are so many skirts that I planned to make and never got around to doing - and now they are all just pulling at me - calling out to me to bring them into fruition - and I just can't ignore them any longer.
  3. Alethia of KASSMINS CREATIONS commented that maybe I should do a skirt sew-a-long next fall.  I am so sorry (and apologize to anyone who might have been interested) that I didn't turn this thing into a sew-a-long from the very start. The idea for it just popped up, and I just ran with it without thinking about anyone else.  How selfish of me!  I was too far into it to turn back.  I do know that FAR of MEMORY SEED was inspired to make her very first skirt ever!!!, and several other readers said that they were motivated to make up some past due skirts too - and that's a good thing!
I've got skirt fabric pre-washing in preparation of NEW PROJECT SUNDAY  as I speak type.  I'll be adding this colorful knit to the skirt processional using Pamela's Magic Pencil Skirt pattern again.














It's been a GREAT sewing weekend as I had a chance to spend the last 3 full days in my newly renovated space.  I didn't produce as much as I would have liked to, but I just enjoyed being in here strategically placing all my sewing stuff.

I wanted to include a picture of my new Carnival addition.  I used Butterick 5566 - think this pattern came out in Fall 2010.  I remember drooling over Carolyn's (DIARY OF A SEWING FANTATIC) skirt using this pattern where she combined a woven fabric with faux leather.  When I emailed her to find out where she purchased the leather, she offered to gift some of hers - so this skirt is compliments of Carolyn.  Of course I didn't get around to making the skirt for a long time - remember I mentioned skirts calling out to me - well this was one of them.  I'd had the leather so long I forgot when it was that she sent it.  I emailed her again yesterday to find out and she said it was March 2011.  I should have at least make the skirt last fall, but oh well...
My skirt was made using a black wool with the patterned faux leather.  I am sooo happy with the outcome!

Close-up of the patterned leather detailed front

The ever growing parade of skirts

I have a plan to show off my collection that will be coming up very soon - so be on the look out o.k.  I'm planning on making the Pamela skirt now and then move on to a dress that started calling out to me today, but who knows?????

WHAT SEWING PROJECTS ARE CALLING OUT TO YOU?????

October 11, 2012

CARNIVAL OF SKIRTS ... WHAT A DIFFERENCE A WEDGE MAKES...

...Ahhhh to be back in my space again - priceless!  I'm finally back in my sewing room and it's soooo pretty. Just a few more things need to be strategically placed or corralled, and the move will be complete.  Ahhhh to be back home - priceless!

The Skirt Carnival  continues and I've added one more to the procession   This addition is actually a re-make of the animal print jean type skirt that I made last November.  Truth be told, I've gained weight and that skirt just does not fit well anymore.  But since I liked having the animal print skirt and had also embellished a sweater to match, I decided to make another one. I found a similar faux suede fabric at Joann's and this time used McCall's 3830 to make a pencil skirt. 





THE WEDGE:  There was one other thing about last years skirt that bothered me - the way it kicked up in back making my hem appear uneven.  I was reading Lynn's blog at You Sew Girl and she mentioned that she had altered her skirt pattern pattern by inserting a wedge in the skirt pack pattern piece to eliminate this same problem.  I was a little ashamed of myself for not know about a full seat alteration, but I'm very happy that now that I know how to use it, an uneven back hem will never be a problem again.  Here's a picture that illustrates the 1 1/2" wedge pattern alteration. It made a really big difference in the way my skirt fits. 


I'll be using this alteration on skirts and dresses from now on...


October 6, 2012

PAIENTENCE...

...truly is a virtue! I was bound and determined that I was moving back in my sewing room on Thursday.  Guess what???, didn't happen (sigh)!  The floor was still tacky on Thursday and still tacky on Friday.  So today was the day for the big move. I was able to move in lots of smaller components back in myself.
All went well until my help arrived to move this monstrosity into place.
I wanted to free up this area for my cutting table that's been residing in my living room for over a year now.

Sure, moving the cutting table back into the sewing room will make it a bit crowded (thank you again for my wonderful cutting table Brenda), but I am determined to corral all sewing matter back into the sewing area.  After all, isn't that what a dedicated sewing area is all about???  Around here sneaky little sewing matter has a knack of escaping out and moving into other rooms of the house.  Of course my corralling efforts does not include the summer fabric stash that lives on the top shelves of my bedroom closet.  (Isn't that where you keep yours?)
 
So I came up with the bright idea of placing the pattern cabinet under the book shelves next to the sewing table. It is soooo heavy, and wouldn't you know it?, the move scratched the floor in three places.  Yet another small delay.  When one of the movers yelled out, "Oh no, we'll have to go over these areas again".  I shouted WAIT A MINUTE!  I need to pull some patterns first!!!  Of course they both thought I was crazy - and maybe I am just a little bit.  But please understand, I haven't been able to get into those pattern drawers for almost two weeks, I think. (Mind you, I've completely lost track of all sense of time at this point).  I needed to get to a McCall's skirt pattern really badly!  You know wet floor and all - THE CARNIVAL MUST GO ON!!!  Tomorrow is another day...


October 3, 2012

TRANSFORMATION OF MY SEWING ROOM ...

...transforming my sewing space has indeed been a trial of patience and endurance.  This is the second time in two years that the room has been completely emptied out to facilitate improvements. If you recall, the carpet was removed the last week of August.  Immediately following I suffered through a 3 week bout of bronchitis that brought the work to an abrupt halt.  Then followed one more week of schedule delays.  I can't even share my prolific thoughts, and  mental rants (@#$D##@!!!!R##!!!!((+*^(%^&$).  Many THANKS to a few dear friends and family members who allowed me to vent and cry on their shoulders through the delays and lack of progress!

FINALLY, the second coat is down and I'm waiting for it to completely dry!  Initially there was supposed to be three coats, but forget that - I'm completely satisfied with two coats!  I just want back in!  I'm tempted to start moving my stuff back in right now - sticky, tacky floor and all.  But that just wouldn't be right and would totally mess up my pretty floor.  I've survived the last two nights with the terrible smell - so what's one more night.  But tomorrow evening I WILL BE MOVING BACK IN!


Is it perfect?, no.  I worked in housing rehabilitation for 16 years and I know that you cannot make an old house new.  But it is shiny and pretty; and I won't have to put up with thread and pin fill carpet any more. PRICELESS!  And I can tell you one thing - I won't be moving out again unless I move into a new house!


BOOKS ACQUIRED

  • Pants Sewing Guide
  • Denim Revolution
  • Pants for Real People
  • Jackets for Real Peopls
  • Easy, Easier, Easiest Tailoring - Palmer & Pletsch - Gifted
  • The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook
  • Ribbon Crafts
  • Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers
  • Successful Serging
  • Making Trousers for Men and Women
  • Couture Sewing Techniques
  • Singer - Perfect Plus
  • Cool Couture
  • Couture, The Fine Art of Sewing
  • Singer Sewing Reference Library - Tailoring - GIFTED
  • The Perfect Fit: The Classic Guide to Altering Patterns - Creative Publishing International
  • Fit for Real People
  • DK-The Complete Book of Sewing